TACD calls for pause in talks on a new data transfer agreement after invalidation of the Privacy Shield

The Transatlantic Consumer Dialogue (TACD) has today sent a letter to EU Commissioner for Justice Didier Reynders and US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, urging a stop to any negotiations on a new personal data transfer deal after the invalidation of the so-called Privacy Shield, agreed in 2016.

The agreement, which allowed free transfers of personal data between the EU and the US for all voluntarily subscribed companies,  has been judged as illegal by the European Court of Justice (CJEU) on 16th July, as the US surveillance laws discriminate against EU residents and therefore infringe their rights to privacy and data protection enshrined in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights.

Unlike their US customers, EU users of US companies, such as Facebook, don’t have any protections from US security agencies, so wouldn’t be able to go to the courts if wrongly accused for example. A previous agreement called Safe Harbor, the predecessor of the Privacy Shield, was annulled by CJEU on similar grounds.

Leading consumer and digital rights organisations in the United States and Europe are demanding that before any such agreement is reached, people in the EU have protections from US security agencies’ surveillance that are consistent with their fundamental rights under the EU Charter, and people in the United States are protected by a robust comprehensive baseline data protection and privacy law at the federal level.

Until such laws are enacted in the US, any future data transfer deal is likely to fail again under legal scrutiny.

Read full text of the letter here.

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